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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97546 Find in a Library
Title: Texas vs Brown
Corporate Author: Charles S Maccrone Productions
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Sponsoring Agency: Charles S Maccrone Productions
Aptos, CA 95003
Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: Charles S Maccrone Productions
432 Ewell Avenue
Aptos, CA 95003
United States of America

Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This police training video cassette, accompanied by an audio cassette, reenacts the incident that led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Texas v. Brown (1983) and summarizes principles of that decision; it held that a law enforcement officer, during a lawful car stop, need not be certain that an item in plain view is contraband to seize it, but only needs to believe that what is observed may be evidence of a crime.
Abstract: During a lawful car stop at a routine driver's license checkpoint, an officer of the Fort Worth (Texas) police observed a knotted party balloon in an automobile driven by Brown. Because of previous experience with drug offenders, the officer was aware that narcotics frequently are packaged in balloons. The officer instructed Brown to get out of his car after being told he had no driver's license and then reached into the car and picked up the balloon. After discovering the balloon contained a white powder, the driver was arrested. At the suppression hearing, a police department chemist testified that the substance in the balloon was heroin and that narcotics frequently are packaged in party balloons. Brown was convicted of unlawful possession of heroin, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction, holding that the evidence should have been suppressed, because it was obtained in violation of the fourth amendment. The Supreme Court reversed the appeals court, holding that the officer had probable cause to believe that the balloon contained illicit substances, based on his experience with narcotics arrests, and this was sufficient justification for seizure. Accompanying the video is a booklet that summarizes the incident and the case's progress through the courts and that explains the rationale for the Supreme Court's decision.
Index Term(s): Police legal training; Right of privacy; Search and seizure laws; Search and seizure training; US Supreme Court decisions; Vehicle searches; Videotapes; Warrantless search
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Video cassette, 10 minutes in length, color, rental is also available from sales source.
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